Mr Feng is a dissident, an economist and self-taught lawyer who made a name for himself in his native Shanghai as an advisor and advocate of China’s increasing army of “petitioners” – ordinary people taking on the central and local governments for a range of alleged injustices.
For 20 years he was regularly arrested, questioned and harassed, and convicted of “subversion” and “illegal business practices”, serving three years in jail. Earlier this year he was held for weeks without charge and without access to his family or lawyers; in April, after his release, he decided to go and spend a few weeks with his sister in Japan while things cooled off.
In July he flew back, only to be bundled back on the plane at Shanghai airport. The same thing happened twice more; four times the airline refused to allow him to board. The last time, on November 4, he was prepared; after being manhandled back on to his plane at Shanghai and landing at Narita, he sat down on a bench in front of the immigration counters – and there he has been ever since.
Read more about Feng Zhenghu via CDT. Read about Feng on Twitter.